Friday, July 20, 2012

TUTORIAL: Re-useable grocery bag, unlined.

**update: I have come up with a better pattern for grocery bags, with clean seams, using just three fat quarters. The pattern for that is available in my Etsy shop. **
I love the way this came out but I really wish I had a Serger, in which case it would have come out a lot better! I think I'm going to make a bunch more this weekend. Believe it or not I finished this in less than a half an hour.

I've been meaning to make one for such a long time and never got around to it until this afternoon. Now that I know it's not time consuming or complicated I'll be making them as often as I can with left over fabric from other projects.

The only things you need to make a super fast, super easy, re-useable fabric grocery bag (that is about the same size and shape as a plastic grocery bag) is ONE plastic grocery bag and 1 yard of 45" wide fabric.

First smooth our your grocery bag and cut the seams off the tops of the handles and the seam off the bottom:

You can go ahead and trim off those weird pieces that stick out the top of the bag and the sides of the handles, that's just where the bags attach to the dispenser thingy at the store.

Now smooth the bag out the rest of the way {now that you have cut the bottom seam  you can smooth out the folds in the sides}.

Now place your plastic bag over your folded yard of fabric. The bottom of the bag should be on the fold and the tops of the handles should almost reach the selvages. Cut out the piece, DO NOT CUT ON THE FOLD. Once cut you should have one folded piece that looks pretty much identical to the grocery bag.

Now with right sides together, stitch up the sides of the bag then across the two handles:
Now, if you wanted to, believe it or not, you could use the bag just like this. But we don't, so let's go on.

Turn your grocery bag right side out and fold the bottom corners into the sides:
** edited to add: You could box the corners as well, that might be better,  but don't cut them once they are boxed as that would make the bag weaker... **

Here is another view:
If I have described that wrong or my pictures don't show it in a way that you can understand it, grab an uncut grocery bag and examine the bottom of the bag and the way it folds in on itself.

Once your bottom folds are created, put about 5 stitches in it here making sure to back stitch to secure it, we're just trying to hold the fold in that spot:
You'll notice this bottom fold has made the handle want to fold in. So we're going to fold the handle toward the inside (just like a regular plastic grocery bag) and then fold the other side in as well and zig zag stitch them in place.

You may choose to fold and stitch the edges of the top of the bag and the handles, but let me say here that is exactly why my next purchase is going to be a Serger!! If you have a Serger, then serge all the edges and seams, including the handle before you fold it under!

Anyway, that's about it. Easy and you can do the cutting and stitching in about 20-30 minutes.

Look how nicely your groceries fit in there:


Fat Quarter Grocery Bag – PDF Sewing Pattern | Sew Simple Life said...

[...] have a great day and if you like what you see don't forget to share it with your friends :)Unlike my last grocery bag, this reusable grocery bag has no messy seams to speak [...]

Pam said...

A great way to save on using plastic bags...

Top Posts for 2012. | Sew Simple Life said...

[...] Tutorial: Reusable Grocery bag 2. Handmade gifts to sew for men 3. Upcycled Jeans to Maxi Skirt 4. Zip Pouch Keychain Tutorial 5. [...]